Bridge to Terabithia is one of those rare stories that is worthy of hurting you. I’d seen the film when it came out, and I come back to it every few years. There’s something magical and deeply uplifting about Terabithia, and the strength of imagination Jess and Leslie possess. It’s something that even the most well meaning of adults lose the older we get, and in part I think it’s because we lack the deep friendships that we had as kids. It’s some manner of innocence, I suppose, but regardless, that magic is captured beautifully in this story.

In all the years that I’d watched the film, I never picked up the book before, so when I saw it on Oyster, I immediately set to it. This is a quick read, but bring on the tissues. I shouldn’t have been surprised since I know the story well, but I still found myself sobbing for the last 40 pages (on an iphone) or so. That speaks to the power of the tale, of course. I’ve known these characters and their fates for many years now, and still, reading those words at the climax of the story split my chest in two. A steady stream of tears for the last several chapters, and unlike with other stories, or films I’ve experienced, Bridge to Terabithia, will always have a place in my heart. It hurts you, but it’s worthwhile. I never feel betrayed by the author, even when my eyes blur so much that I can barely read the words. The unfairness of life is to blame, and yet, it can’t take away from the magic. In fact, you could probably argue that its because of the unfairness and cruelty of the world that we have to keep that magic, hopeful imagination alive.

5 out of 5 stars every time.